Sounding Board

To Tell The Truth

How candid should you be about the fact that you're a homebased business? Conventional wisdom says go ahead and spill the beans. As the number of homebased businesses and even corporate telecommuters continues to climb, so does the number of customers who are comfortable dealing with homebased operators.

The key, says entrepreneur George Nauck, is focusing on what you do, not where you do it. Nauck is the owner of Encore!!!, a sports performance measurement systems developer in Jacksonville, Florida. "I don't try to dazzle people with the size of my company," he says. "I have to impress them with what I can do and what I have done that no one else has been able to do."

Nauck doesn't make a big deal out of being homebased, nor does he try to hide it. He usually meets with clients either on their turf or at trade shows. But when the subject comes up, he is candid about being homebased. "It doesn't affect the quality of what I do, and I try not to make it an issue," he says.

If you sense a customer is uncomfortable with your homebased status, point out the advantages, such as how your lower overhead means you can pass along those cost savings. Using large businesses as your suppliers also enhances your credibility. Nauck's vendors, as well as his customers, are large international corporations.

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